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Thursday, August 08, 2019

Number of FAR Forms in First Distribution Over Time - 2019

The first distribution of the FAR AALS forms came out this week. Here are the number of FAR forms in the first distribution for each year since 2009.

FAR Forms Over Time.20190808
(All information obtained from various blog posts, blog comments, Tweets, and Facebook postings over the years and not independently verified. If you have more accurate information, please post it in the comments and I will update accordingly.)

First posted August 8, 2019.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on August 8, 2019 at 02:09 PM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


ScaredToSay, I agree that analysis would be very interesting to see, but do you know where to get that data?

Posted by: ED | Jul 10, 2020 2:28:06 PM

ScaredToSay, Sarah Lawsky had done some of that analysis, which seems to show that the proportion of PhD/fellowship/VAP hires is increasing.

See here: https://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2019/06/spring-self-reported-entry-level-hiring-report-2019.html

Posted by: AnonTT | Aug 9, 2019 2:21:25 PM

Orin, that is an interesting conjecture. I wonder if someone could do a little analysis of applicant quality over time. Maybe sort FAR forms by school ranking, Advanced degree (other than JD), number of publications listed on FAR form, etc. and look at median applicant over that time period. At least from 2016 to 2019 where PhD would t change much. Would be interesting to see. Other possibilities are improved law firm job market and skyrocketing superstar comp there, possible fallout of lower-ranked law schools, etc. But I understand applications are up last two years by a little and less hiring in last decade had left “graying” of faculty. So not clear what this means.

Posted by: ScaredToSay | Aug 9, 2019 1:59:40 PM

(Oh, and by "the trend," I mean FAR forms recently having fallen relative to hiring.)

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Aug 9, 2019 12:09:34 AM

I wonder if the trend partially reflects a growing awareness of what it takes to get a job. My sense is that there have always been a lot of FAR forms of candidates who weren't competitive (such as those with no publications or other signals of interest in academia) but who likely did not realize that they weren't competitive. Increased awareness of what schools are looking for might mean fewer people spending the money to submit FAR forms.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Aug 9, 2019 12:08:14 AM

Yes and no.

Over the 2011-2019 period, the decline is about the same. Reported hires fell 47% from 2011 to 2019 (155 to 82); first FAR distribution fell 44% (592 to 334).

But in last few years, FAR forms have fallen relative to hiring. Reported hires INCREASED 32% (from 62 to 82) 2017-2019, and were flat (83 to 82) 2016-2019. FAR forms fell 17% (403 to 334) 2017-2019 and 13% (382 to 334) 2016 to 2019. No theory offered here but those are the numbers.

Posted by: ScaredToSay | Aug 8, 2019 10:26:31 PM

Well the downward trend in FAR forms pretty much exactly mirrors the downward trend in entry-level hiring, so I don't think this is a very mysterious pattern.

Posted by: Committee Member | Aug 8, 2019 5:09:30 PM

Do you have a theory as to why there is a marked downward trend?

Posted by: Tim | Aug 8, 2019 3:27:59 PM

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